Posted in Fiction, Middle Grade, picture books, Preschool Reads

Back to School Giveaway! Win Magic Candies OR Once Upon a Camel!

What better way to get ready for back to school than with a new book! I’ve got one copy of MAGIC CANDIES by Heena Baek and one copy of ONCE UPON A CAMEL by Kathi Appelt – a little something for everyone!

PLEASE NOTE, these are TWO separate raffles. There will be TWO winners; this is not a bundle raffle. You are more than welcome to enter both raffles, but there will be two different winners. Gotta share the book love!

SO! That said, if you want to enter the raffle for Heena Baek’s MAGIC CANDIES, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway here!


If you love camels, and want to take a chance on Kathi Appelt’s ONCE UPON A CAMEL, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway here!


Good luck to all!

Posted in Adventure, Animal Fiction, Fiction, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

Blog Tour: Once Upon a Camel by Kathi Appelt

Two blog tours in one day, you ask? YES! That’s whatcha get when a cranky summer storm wrecks your Internet for a day. But look – a new Kathi Appelt book is always cause for celebration, especially one as good as…

Once Upon a Camel, by Kathi Appelt/Illustrated by Eric Rohmann,
(September 2021, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books), $17.99, ISBN: 9781534406438
Ages 8-12

Newbery Honoree and National Book Award Finalist Kathi Appelt delivers an heir apparent to Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan (2015) and Sara Pennypacker’s Pax (2016). Set in Texas 1910 Texas, an aging camel named Zada has a life lived: she’s won camel races in Turkey for a high-ranking Turkish officer; she’s felt like she was flying across the fields and led army missions with her best friend, Asiye; she’s outsmarted lions and befriended birds. Now, protecting two baby kestrel chicks during a sandstorm, she keeps them entertained in an escarpment as she reflects on her life and hopes that she’ll find the chicks’ parents when the storm breaks… and before the lion returns. It’s an adventure with a heart as big as the desert, and with moments that will have readers enchanted and white-knuckled. Caldecott Medalist Eric Rohmann’s gorgeous oil painting, rendered here in blacks, greys, and whites, show sweeping sea voyages and cuddly camels and chicks; thrilling escapes and affectionate moments that give texture and life to Kathi Appelt’s sweet, funny, and bittersweet words. Once Upon a Camel is a gentle story of found family and survival, separation, and reunion. Animal fiction fans and fans of Kate DiCamillo and Katherine Applegate will love this story.
If you don’t trust me, trust Richard the Camel, seen here with author Kathi Appelt during what appears to be an impromptu storytime. Look at Richard’s smile! He’s a member of the Texas Camel Corps – maybe a descendant of Zada’s?
Photo was taken at Texas Camel Corps. Photo credit: Doug Baum

Kathi Appelt is the author of the Newbery Honoree, National Book Award Finalist, and bestselling The Underneath as well as the National Book Award Finalist for The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swap. Some of her award-winning books include Maybe a Fox (with Alison McGhee), Keeper, and Max Attacks, to name just a few. She lives in College Station, Texas. To learn more, visit her website at Kathi

Find Kathi on Facebook and Pinterest!


Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Happy National Hug Your Cat Day! Celebrate with Max Attacks and a Giveaway!

Max Attacks, by Kathi Appelt/Illustrated by Penelope Dullaghan, (June 2019, Atheneum), $17.99, ISBN: 9781481451468

Ages 3-8

Max is a cat. A cat who attacks. No, he’s not a mean cat, he’s just a cat cat. If you’re a cat person, you know that look: the ears go flat, the backside wiggles, and the cat is off, attacking its prey, usually a random piece of plastic, small plush toy, or – in my case – a rogue Lego. In Max Attacks, Max is an adorable blue striped cat who attempts to trounce and pounce on the fishbowl, but is sidetracked by foes like window screens, catnip toys, laundry, and a shoelace (still attached to the person’s shoe). But when Max finally turns his undivided attention to the fishbowl, is he in for a wet surprise?

Max Attacks is absolutely adorable. The rhyming text gives a playful feel to the story and makes for a fun, boisterous readaloud. I read this to my Saturday storytime group and they loved it! Penelope Dullaghan’s acrylic, charcoal, and digital illustrations are bright and add a hand-drawn touch to each spread. She’s got the cat’s reactions down perfectly, from the loping run to the I-meant-to-do-that reaction when a leap goes horribly awry. The white background lets the brightly-colored characters take charge of the story, and the bold, black text has different colored words for emphasis, letting a reader change voice to create asides or pitch.

This is an adorable must-read for your storytimes and for your cat fans. Max Attacks is out on June 11th, but feel free to hug your cat and read to them today.


Want a shot at your own copy of Max Attacks? (U.S. addresses only, please!) One lucky reader will receive a copy of Max Attacks, courtesy of Atheneum; just visit this Rafflecopter giveaway!

Kathi Appelt is the New York Times best-selling author of more than forty books for children and young adults. Her first novel, The Underneath, was a National Book Award Finalist and a Newbery Honor Book. It also received the PEN USA Award. Her other novels include Angel Thieves, for young adults, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, a National Book Award finalist, and Maybe a Fox, one of the Bank Street Books Best Children’s Books of the Year. In addition to writing, Ms. Appelt is on the faculty in the Masters of Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in College Station, Texas. To learn more, and to find curriculum materials and activity pages, visit her website at!